Nosara Costa Rica or Bust!

Old Apr 21st, 2004, 01:36 PM
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Nosara Costa Rica or Bust!

Dear all:

Myself, my husband, his father and girlfriend, cousin and cousins wife and new baby along with bestfriend will be traveling to Costa Rica the last week of May. We have pretty much decided on Nosara as the weather in Guancaste is seemingly less wet. Is this true? Also, my husband is the athletic type as is his cousin and best friend. I take the scenic route to life and can spend 10 hours watching the surf as if where a cinematic epic. But, I digress. What I need to know and have not been able to find out is can the lazy and the obsessed find happiness in Nosara?
One more thing- can day trips to other areas be done with minimal damage to the cerebral cortex and coccyx bone? Any and all help greatly appreciated!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 07:25 AM
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I'll be returing to Nosara for the 5 or 6th time on May 1st.
It's a pretty quiet area, but there are things to do. There is good surf (our main draw as my husband has been surfing for 30+ years), Sportfishing, Horseback riding, ATV Rentals, Bike rentals and golf cart rentals, Jungle River Tours, Kayaking, waterfall treks and of course exploring the tidepools and other nearby towns such as Ostional and Samara. See the recent post that has "Ostional and Turtles" in the title.
One thing you should know is that there is no shade on the main beach. Playa Peleda on the north side has a little shade in the mornings, that's about it. So if you want to spend hours watching the surf, you'd better ask your hotel if they have a beach umbrella. I've never seen one , but I guess you'll never know unless you ask.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 07:29 AM
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I forgot to attach this link.

http://www.yellowpages.nosaranet.com/

Look under the clubs/entertainment sections.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:05 AM
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We stayed in Samara last month and spent a day driving up to Nosara. Unless you have a specific reason for going to Nosara, I would think you would find every thing you need in Samara without the hassle of the drive on dirt roads.

In fact, we found the crescent beach in Samara to be nicer that the beach at Nosara. It's less wind-swept and is better for swimming. The hotels also provide umbrellas and lounges. Playa Carrillo the next beach south after Samara may even be nicer but there are no hotels on it.

By the way, if you are going to Costa Rica just for the beach, I will state what many others have on this board. You will find better beaches and better beach resorts in Mexico, Hawaii, or the Caribbean or the Bahamas for that matter. If you like to snorkel, go somewhere else. Surfing may be a different matter but that's something our kids do and they weren't with us. We had a great time in Costa Rica but the actual time we spent on the beaches was not the highlight of our trip.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:23 AM
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Thanks Ally and Otis,
Samsara sounds dreamy- maybe the next trip. As for the beach activities- I will make sure that the guest house provides us with umbrellas. Ally, since you've been there so many times any suggestions on the best places for dinner and where to shop for groceries? We have a guest house, so breakfast and lunch we can handle. Also, we are wine and beer drinkers is there alcohol for sale in town?
Thanks mucho!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Iza
 
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You will have a difficult time with day trips from Nosara: there is 25km of dirt road to get to town and it is not pleasant negotiating that road. I didn't really care much for Nosara and I think you would be better off in Samara or some of the towns further north (although Tamarindo may be too busy for you).
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Are you kidding? Places to buy beer? You won't BELIEVE all the places to purchase beer!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 10:38 AM
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Iza is right about "day trips" from Nosara, but all the activities I mentioned can and are easily done around town, or in nearby Garza. You might want to make an 'outing' to Samara which is only about 45 minutes to an hour from Nosara. A nice place to look around for an afternoon,and as Otis says, it's a nicer swimming beach. Best places for dinner will be La Luna...the only restaurant on the beach besides Olgas Bar which is small and VERY tico, but cheap..... also, Marlin Bills for the best steak....Cafe Paris has a wide selection of meals and is reasonably priced, Giardino Tropicana (on the hill just past Cafe Paris and Marlin Bills has good pasta and pizza and they used to have the best Chef Salad in the area...hope they still do! Both the large Tico restaurants in town, Rancho Tico and Rancho Tipico are good and cheap, but service can be very slow. You can recognise them by the large Palapa roofs and all cars in the lots. Harbor Reef Hotel and Casa Tucan also have good restaurants. The BEST in the area is La Dolce Vida. Excellent Italian food and fresh fish, but is a little ways from town and is the most expensive. This is a must for one at least one night, in my opinion.
As for groceries, check out the "Dining" section in the link I posted above to see all the Supermarkets and Mini Supers. Super La Paloma and Super Nosara will have the better selection of everything, especially fruit and vegetables, but if you are near a Mini Super don't hesitate to drop in because some of the prices may surprise you. We actually found the best wine prices at one of the Mini Markets by Gilded Iquana. As for 'bar' prices, we usually find the best deals at Casa Tucan, which also has a 'movie' night on Fridays (movies on a big screen on the lawn). Last time I was there, they had the best wine prices. I will attach another link for a map of the area, so you can see where some of these places are.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 10:40 AM
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here is the map:

http://www.nosaratravel.com/Map.html
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:10 PM
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Thank you! You have all been very helpful. I will pass on all of the information you've given to the United Nations that is my family- feeling confident that I have reliable and knowledgeable sources.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:32 PM
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Hi, All.

I am a webmaster in Nosara - I publish the Yellow Pages directory that Ally mentioned in her post, and I am really happy to know that someone has found it useful.

I also publish the online edition of our local newspaper http://www.voiceofnosara.com
Many of the hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. advertise in the newspaper, so it is a good source for you to find information about the local businesses.

I am just a computer nerd, and I don't own or operate any tourist businesses, but I do have clients for whom I do web pages. I would like to suggest one of my clients, a brand new hotel. see
http://www.panchos.costaricaa.com
He has new, clean cabinas around a really nice pool and restaurant. It sounds like your whole family could just take over the compound (and the "new clean" part is very important for the baby).

The reason I suggest his place for you is:
1. He is at Pelada Beach, away from the more developed Guiones beach, where all the surfers go. Pelada is quieter, and has little rocky outcrops and a few small cave-like areas hollowed out by the surf - it's really nice to explore, and you can find some private uninterrupted time to just sit and listen to the surf pound and read a book. In my "former life" I was a geologist, so I really love the caves and rocks at Pelada Beach.

2. He has a well-stocked grocery store (I saw umbrellas there, too), full wine and liquor license.

3. It is a family run business, he and his wife and three teen sons.

By the way, the end of May is a wonderful time here - light short afternoon rain only, and the height of butterfly season.

Day trips, kayaking the river, etc. talk to Jungle Joe at Iguana Expeditions http://www.iguanaexpeditions.com
(yes, he is one of my clients, too)
He can find plenty of different activities for your diverse family.

To book in-country plane tickets from San Jose to Nosara, and have a rental car waiting here for you when you arrive, talk to http://www.officecenter.nosaranet.com

By the way, another suggestion is that late May is "off-season", so reservations at a hotel are not terribly important. If it turns out you don't like the place you are at, you can easily find rooms somewhere else.
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Old Apr 25th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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Does anyone know the what the weather is like in late June or early July? Too wet for the beach?

Ally - you mentioned your husband likes it for the surf. I've also surfed most of my life before moving to beachless Colardo. Does he rent a board while there?, where? Any suggestions on where my 14 year old son can get surfing lessions? I saw this website, but who knows? www.aventurapelada.com/surfing.html

Thanks!
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 07:56 AM
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My husband had been keeping his board at the Orquideas Inn in Alajuela for about 3 years until new owners took over. They kept his board for a few months until his last trip in Jan. At that time, he took it to Nosara and will be storing it there at one of the surf shops. I can't remember which one, but they are charging him $65 a year to keep the board there. A good deal because he goes to surf there two or three times a year, and the airlines want way to much $$$ for him to take it back and forth. There are 2 surf schools and two surf shops in Nosara, other than the one you mention, so there won't be any problem finding a board to rent , or lessons for your son. You can find the info for all 4 in the Yellow pages web site I posted in this thread. Have fun! I'm joining my husband (he's there now) next week and can't wait!
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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To cws3di:
Where exactly is Panchos? Is Pelada beach the beach where La Luna and Olga's is located?
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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Nosara is a fun town , but surf and sun are the main and only attractions. As others have mentioned the road in and out is dusty and rough, so traveling is limited to some of the other close by beach towns. The surf is good for all levels and there is plenty of room for all. I am surprised that no one has mentioned the yummy delights of La Mariposa panaderia y bakery. A good way to lose a few hours in the morning. Rancho Tico serves a great casado and the supermarket is just a few doors down. The food at the Harbor Reef where we stayed was always fresh and reasonable. Finally, do the hikes and river trips in this area or spend a few days before or after in another part of the country, but traveling to day trip, No se puede! Nosara surf had a great selection of boards in all shapes and sizes. As I am another ex-surfer who is land-locked in the snowy peaks of Colorado.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Thanks for the all the info. We are going to wait until winter.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 08:21 PM
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Hi Ally.

Sorry I have taken so long to reply to your question.

Pancho's Hotel is right across from the Mariposa Bakery that SrFlojo mentioned.

Playa Pelada is the next little beach to the north of Guiones Beach. You mentioned La Luna - yes just keep walking over the little hill next to La Luna and you will find Pelada. It isn't popular with beginner surfers because of the rocks and occasional rip-tides, unlike the ever predictable and sweet surfing waves at Guiones. Most Pelada surfers go further out from the beach, and have to really watch their timing. But then, like I said, I am a land-lubber and I like the little coves and privacy. A different beach experience, you really need to visit.

And, yes, you must try Mariposa. They are Swiss bakers, but also serve wonderful meals as wells as sweet treats.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 08:35 PM
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For jwwag

I wish that I had posted a reply before you decided to wait until winter!!

I honestly feel that June and July are the most beautiful months of the year here. The surfing is good all year. It is not seasonal. Sunrise and sunset are the same all year round, about 6am to 6pm. It is dry dry from December through April. God, are we happy to see the rains. The jungle comes alive during what North Americans call summer. Lush and green, and wildlife and butterflies everywhere.

I am sorry that SrFlojo feels that there was nothing else to do here in Nosara but sit on the beach - probably because he stayed at the H. Reef - not exactly a booming or with-it place, and he had to walk to the beach too.

Try The Gilded Iguana
http://gildediguana.com
They are as close to the beach as you can get, just expanded with new rooms, nice new pool. Active fun crowd, the bar is a hopping place at night. Also Patty's hubby Chiqui is a well-known sportfishing captain.

Their tour guides are
http://www.iguanaexpeditions.com
Jungle Joe has just about every activity under the sun available. River kayaking for nature tours and bird watching. Sea Kayaking for the adventurous, waterfall hikes, surfing school and board rentals, language school.

By the way, I don't know who the guy at aventura pelada is. His website says that he uses the Safari Surf guys for instructors, and they are over on Guiones Beach. And his website doesn't say what hotel you would be staying in when in Nosara. I suggest you do a lot of checking this out? Be careful? I will also go ask some people if they know who he is.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 02:54 PM
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I agree with the last post. Guanacaste is so beautiful in June, July, August. By contrast, very brown and dusty in the dry season. Whatever is green is coated with a layer of dust and appears gray! But, never a BAD time to visit CR as far as the beaches go! The green season months
just offer more beauty while traveling inland!
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Old Jun 4th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Hope you DID make it to Nosara after all - it's a pretty neat spot. If you decide to return, we DO RENT umbrellas and beach chairs at Coconut Harry's Surf Shop: www.coconutharrys.com

Pura Vida!
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